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How to prepare for winter power outage due to high winds and large amount of snowfall or freezing rains?

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Living in Canada, we all have to endure the brutal cold and huge amount of snowfall very often during the harsh winter. The summer are beautiful in Canada but winter can be a very desperate time trying to dig ourselves out of the snow. What makes matter worse is when power outage occurs once in a while when the winds are blowing high and freezing rains causes downed trees and power lines.

When power outage happens, there is no electricity in the house and the temperature inside the house could drop down to the low 2 or 3 degree Celsius. There is also no hot water to shower or to use. Without electricity, no cooking can be done and it can get quite boring waiting for the power to come back on. We can't even watch TV or use internet because even those are down. Once when our cell phone battery dies down too, then it feels like the end of the world with nothing to do besides going into a cold bed to sleep.

Also there is the need to shovel the driveway to keep the snow out and to prevent the snow in our driveway from freezing hard like a skating ring. I usually wait for the snow to completely stopped falling before venturing out to do the snow shovelling. I know by that time, the snow could have piled up high already. At least I do not have to keep going out into the driveway to shovel the snow numerous times.
asked in Charlottetown by Victor Adams (127 points)

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2 Answers

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Winter in Canada can be a very unpleasant time of the year and most people dread the winter storm which can cause power outage. Although most winter power outages are quickly dealt with and power restored in time, there are times when power restoration would take days or even weeks. There was this one time in Toronto I heard that a power outage caused by heavy freezing rains which downed a lot of hydro poles was blamed for weeks of power outage. People were caught in surprise and many people were unprepared for such incidents. Literally people were left in the brutal freezing cold temperature of up to -20c during those extremely cold warning weeks. Phone batteries for most people were used up and they had to resort to charging their phones in public library. A lot of public places were using backup generators to provide temporary power. The bank's had not open for days and people were scrambling to withdraw cash wherever they can. Some restaurant which had power were full due to people trying to get their next meal. In one word, it was pretty chaotic.

It doesn't have to be this way at least for yourself if you prepare for the worst. Some simple steps if followed correctly can save you hundreds of dollars of damage to your homes or save you from having to eat at restaurant for your next meal. In case of winter power outage, prepare yourself by following plan:

1. Check for flashlight batteries to see that they are working since you will be needing them to see in the dark. Keep extra batteries handy just in case.

2. Use a portable battery powered radio to keep your updated with local news and weather conditions. There may be important information broadcasted that you simply could miss if you don't have a radio tuned to local channels.

3. Keep lots of candles with the proper candle stand around. Be careful that you have a proper candle stand because you don't want the candle to fall down and burn down your living place. Candles can provide you light for a long time.

4. If you have a fireplace in place, you can burn wood in your fireplace to keep yourself warm throughout. Limit yourself to one room so you can save on the firewood but have sufficient air ventilation to avoid suffocation due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Having a carbon monoxide detector nearby will tell you if the level of carbon monoxide reached up to dangerous level.

5. Make sure that your rooms are all insulated from the draft of the cold wind coming into the house. One cheap way of insulating them is to use caulk around windows or plastics with double sided tape to cover your windows and prevent cold air draft seeping in through.

6. To keep pipes from freezing, use insulation on the pipes and allow the tap to run very slowly in a dripping pace to keep the pipes from freezing.

7. Keep a portable gas stove which you can buy from supermarket. It is a small type of gas stove which uses gas cannisters to provide you with the chance to cook something in times of need.

8. Waterless hot water tank doesn't work during power outage but a proper hot water tank which stores heated water, works even during power outage surprisingly. So when installing hot water tank, don't go for the expensive waterless hot water tank. Go for the ones where water can be stored in the tank because it even works when there is no electricity to power it.

9. Know where your main water outlet controller is located in your house. So in case of any water problems you will know where to look for shutting
off the main water tap.

10. Keep buckets of water in your bath tub ready for use when you need to.

11. If necessary, you can transfer your food from the fridge or freezer into your garage where it will be cold enough to keep your food fresh. Letting it stay in fridge or freezer for more than 24 hours will cause the food to go bad.

12. Know how you can open a garage manually if you need to take your car out of your garage.

13. Buying package food and canned food beforehand and storing them in safe place can help you during power outage. At least you can survive on those canned food for days before power is restored.

14. Wear enough clothes to keep yourself warm and cover all your body parts to prevent frost bites. If you have family members, ask them all to stay together in one room to keep each other warm.
answered by Erin Leonard (143 points)
0 votes
Watch video on "How to survive a Canadian winter power outage due to high winds, large amount of Snow or Freezing rain?" :

answered by Winter Stormer

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